September 4: The USS Everett Larson Honors A Brave Connecticut Marine


Born in Stamford, Connecticut in 1920, Everett Frederick Larson was one of thousands of young Connecticans who answered their country’s call to service during World War II.  In January 1942, Larson enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve and, several months later, participated in the Guadalcanal Campaign, a major offensive by the Allied forces against Japan.  On October 8, under heavy fire from the Japanese, Private First Class Larson dove into the hotly-contested Matanikau River and was killed while swimming across in a brave attempt to rescue a wounded comrade.

For his selfless courage and heroism, PFC Larson was posthumously awarded the Silver Star and the Purple Heart, and two years later, the US Navy chose to honor his memory further by naming a new naval fighting ship after him.  On September 4, 1944, the keel was laid for the USS Everett F. Larson, a state-of-the-art destroyer, at the Bath Iron Works in Bath, Maine.  Larson’s mother christened the ship four months later.  The USS Everett F. Larson entered active service in April 1945, just a few months before World War II came to a close; one of its first major missions was to sink 24 captured Japanese submarines later that year.  The ship would remain in active service until 1972, serving extensively in the Pacific.  After the Larson was formally decommissioned, it was purchased by the South Korean navy, where it saw active service for an additional two decades as the ROKS Jeon Buk before being retired in 1999.  Today, the vessel is permanently moored in Guangdong, South Korea, as a museum ship open to the public.

The USS Everett F. Larson cruising near Oahu, Hawaii in 1969. (U.S. Navy photograph)

Further Reading

History of USS Everett F. Larson DD830/DDR830,” USS E. F. Larson Foundation

USS Everett F. Larson,” NavSource Naval History

Everett F. Larson (DD-830)” US Navy Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships